Explain Why So Many Colonists Died In Early Jamestown

Improved Essays
The colonists in Jamestown had to resort to cannibalism to survive during the awful winter known as “Starving Time”. They dug up graves of dead Indians and Englishmen to feed themselves. Jamestown was a colony that was established in early 1607 by English settlers. It was named after King James I and it’s located in present day Virginia. So why did so many colonists die? Colonists died in early Jamestown because of several problems, a few of which were diseases, lack of proper nutrition and the relationship with the Native Indians.

The first reason Jamestown colonists died was because of diseases. In Document A, we can see that the river and creeks started getting brackish and the levels of fresh water would be scarce. When the water started
…show more content…
The people in Jamestown were not men who were willing to work. They were harsh men who wouldn’t work or try for a better relationship with the Indians. For a relationship to work, there needs to be trust on both sides. That was something we did not see in the colony-Indians relationship. In Document D, we see how harshly the men, especially the leaders, treated the Native Americans. This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died because it proves the character of the “men” who were representing the England and their king.

The third reason Jamestown colonists died was because of lack of nutrition. In some of the documents we can see that the supplies would come but it wouldn’t last very long. The next resupply ship would take a while in coming and during that time, the colonists suffered from lack of food. During the winter months,especially, was when the colonists suffered the most.The evidence from the documents helps explain why so many colonists died because it proves that food was scarce. Resources were available but because of the arrogance of the “men”, the resources weren’t used properly and to their full

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In article C it shows that on the first shipment of people there were 47 gentleman (people that don't work with there hands) and only 12 labours. This caused death because they weren't able to do what they needed to to be very successful at first because they had only 12 people who worked. In article D it states that a ship of around 43 men had just come back from trading with the Native americans and were traveling to jamestown when they decide that they would go to england instead. They did this because they didn't have enough food to last the winter at Jamestown but they had enough food to last them the trip to england so they left and went to england instead. This ended up killing most of the people at james town.…

    • 501 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When they arrived at Jamestown the colonists assumed the Native Americans would be welcoming. This could have been possible if not for a man named Francis West. In 1609, two years after landing in Jamestown, West and thirty-six other men sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to try and trade with the Patawomeke tribe for corn. To force the people to trade, West decided it would be wise to cut off two of the Native American’s heads. In the end West and his men got a load of grain they needed.…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Early Jamestown Dbq

    • 416 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The question is, “Why did so many Jamestown colonists die?” The answer is they died from lack of water, disease, and Indian attacks. One of the reasons so many Jamestown colonists died was because of many Indian attacks. There were many Indian tribes surrounding the colonists, making them vulnerable to attacks.…

    • 416 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Early Jamestown Dbq Essay

    • 644 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Initially, the people of Jamestown died from their lack of food and fresh water. Specifically, they starved because of a famine during summer to winter. In Document A it explains how in early spring they had fish in the streams, but in other seasons they didn’t. This contributed to them dying because the settlers did not have enough fish to survive the following seasons. Also many died from starvation because they did not have enough grain to endure the harsh winter.…

    • 644 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Why Did Jamestown Die?

    • 360 Words
    • 2 Pages

    After getting to Jamestown on May 14, 1607 twelve days later two colonist had already died because of Native Americans (Doc E). Within another few months Native Americans had killed atlas three more men (Doc E). When May 1610 came around Native Americans had killed at least 150 men from Jamestown (Doc E). This evidence helps explain why so many…

    • 360 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In document A, the author states that there was many deaths because of the brackish water. Brackish water is a mixture of seawater with freshwater. Water was a very important resource, so when they drank that water they became more sick. Illness is a contributing element to everyone of the passings. There is a wide range of perspectives on this issue, however I believe that colonists died in early Jamestown from many different problems that occurred.…

    • 347 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This evidence tells us why so many colonists died because it helps explain how the colonists' poor relations with the Powhatan Indians may have caused many of the colony to perish because the colonists taking the Indians’ food and killing some of their tribe may have caused them to distrust the colonists and seek revenge from…

    • 670 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    During the first year of Jamestown, Francis West was to trade with a group of Patawomeke indians. Since the indians did not want to trade with them, Francis did not hold back and beheaded three of the indians in the group. This was what had caused the bad relationship with the local tribes around the Jamestown colonies slowly tearing Jamestown apart. In the early spring of 1607, many English settlers sailed toward the Chesapeake Bay.…

    • 507 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamestown Dbq

    • 437 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Doc C most of the people brought were not productive. labors can build houses and shelter, unlike copper they just make barrels. Doc C they brought 110 males and only one surgeon they should have brought more doctors and pharmacist to help the sick. The lack of skills and not being prepared killed many in Jamestown. Many colonists died from that relationship with the natives.…

    • 437 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Many of English settlers in Jamestown have died, but why? To start, “Starving Time” was a harsh winter for the English colonists. The “Starving Time” was the winter of November-May 1610 (Document E). In this time, about three-quarters (110) of the English colonists in Virginia died of starvation or starvation-related diseases.…

    • 299 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamestown Drought Dbq

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Many colonists did not get the chance to settle themselves in early Jamestown. Issues took place on their journey to a new world. Three important areas affected the colonist’s lifespan. The environment, settler’s skills and relations with the Indians all had an impact on their survival. Very many different aspects of responsibility fit these categories of the very few that survived.…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Early Jamestown Dbq

    • 420 Words
    • 2 Pages

    But their journey to the New World ended in disasters. The result of so many deaths are Unpreparedness, drought, and their relationship with the indians First, the reasons so many people died was because of their unpreparedness in coming to Jamestown. It is stated in document C, “Gentlemen: 47 …. Note: a gentleman was a person of wealth who was…

    • 420 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Early Jamestown Dbq

    • 308 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Jamestown colonists did not make the best choices out of their lifetime. According to the text (Document A ) “ where filth introduced into the river tended to fester rather than flush away.” The colonist used the river as their trashcan this affected them to have unclear water, which made them starve. A big problem was how much men did not know how to do simple chores. In (Document C) it says that they brought no women.…

    • 308 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamestown Summary

    • 1108 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In 1607, Captain John Smith and hundreds of settlers sailed across the atlantic ocean and founded the first New England colony, Jamestown. They landed in modern-day Virginia and established a profit colony for the Virginia Company. However, the colonist had only temporary housing and minimal food supplies, plus a swampy environment on the James River caused disease and malnutrition killing someone almost everyday. The colonists also had encounters of the native indians near the settlement; some were hostile to the "invaders", but some had been friendly as well to the Englishmen. With more and more colonists arriving at Jamestown, the indians began to try to starve the English out as the were expanding and disrupting indian hunting and picking…

    • 1108 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The settlers were used to their ways of life back in Britain and were never “in such misery as we were in this new discovered Virginia”. However, the colonists were saved by the leadership of Captain John…

    • 425 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays